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From COWARDICE to COURAGE

April 20, 2012

Two days after a self attempted suicide I woke up to bright sunlight streaming down my face. Ooooh what beautiful weather. What a beautiful day. Throwing the mink blanket aside I tried to get up from the bed when dizziness suddenly enveloped me and the staggering pain hit my arm. I notice that thou the swelling had subsided, it had a dark bluish blackish reddish colour combination of bruisemark left behind by IV (intravenous) syringe .

My eyes welled up in tears. I had wanted to die, but was saved. I was living alone, independently, juggling between my personal and professional life and top of that, my health condition, the side effect of the drugs that takes toll on my system at times. I was Anemic, suffering from low Haemoglobin and have frequent dizzy spells which interferes with my day to day lifestyle. Being alone too was also the biggest issue as I had no one to cook me breakfast/lunch/dinner when I wasn’t well, no one to talk to when I was down, to share my happiness and my sorrows, success and my failures, no one with whom I can enjoy my yet “another” day. In short, I had no one to live for that was “worth” my living. My marriage was broken in 2008, my parents /relatives long abandoned me, my boyfriend is no longer my boyfriend but my best friend, have lot of friends but no one to talk to regarding my problems that I could trust enough to share, and top of it all, I was undergoing tough situation in personal front and office pressures building on the other side. By the looks at it, I was already having anxiety attacks from various angles, depression was setting in which was eating me up emotionally, making me mad day by day. The more I with-held, the worse I grew. And then finally one day I couldn’t take it! I texted to few people who mattered, and consumed phenyl, a kind of a liquid poison. I had considered myself a “survivor”, a “struggler” but in fact I had become a “loser”. I have always wanted to be loved. ALWAYS. I lacked love ever since I was born. I never knew what a mother’s love is like, never felt my dad’s love as long as I lived with him for 18 years, with male friends it was more of “lust” than love (and I was too naïve that time to even know the difference between it) and the only love that I shared when I got married was also short-lived. Now that the virus has claimed my body, I lost 2 more important people in my life. My best friend and my boyfriend. My best friend (Mr. A) dumped me for telling him upfront regarding my status, and my boyfriend (Mr. B) broke the relationship but stood by me as my best friend when he came to know that I lied to him about me having cancer instead of HIV. Everyone needs love, especially when they do not or at least deserve it. Who understands this better than the one who has never been loved or who has been loved just for a while and later shunned for no fault of theirs? There is so much hunger for love in this world than for anything else, more than money or even happiness. I tried breeding hatred for others in my heart but instead I was developing a hatred within me, inside me for myself, for being born, for what I am. And the reason of my hatred was many : From not being a good daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother to finally being HIV Positive!! Thou I had sympathy, empathy, pity, love, care and concern for others and would go out of my way for them if needed be, the only thing I had no feeling was for myself. I was only degrading myself, killing myself, blaming myself for whatever was happening or had happened in my life. This is how it felt “being alone”. “Being lonely”.

After being discharged from the hospital, my best friend (Mr. B) gave me a good lecture. He was upset of my cowardly act which I regretted later and know was not the right thing to do. I tried telling him that I didn’t mean to do it but at times when things drive me to despair, when I was crying for help but no one understood me, even the “mighty” ones at such situations DO fail. There are times when something snaps within that had been withheld too long. But he would hear nothing of it. Instead, I had to listen to him, too ashamed to say more, ashamed coz I lost my respect in front of his eyes coz of my cowardly act and he had lost his trust in me. He thought of me to be strong but then my committing a suicide was showing a different picture. “Admit it, Jyoti, that u are too weak, too insecure, and I will respect that”, he said.

But I did not admit. Rather, I didn’t say anything at all.

Though he did admonish me, I could sense his love, care and concern in his voice. And I realised I was “expecting” too much from people. And then that’s when a real “courage” was born. “Fearless” became the “word” and my dream project was being incubated. I told him, “From henceforth, I will not say anything about my HIV thingie, about my blogs, about how I went on to light other people’s life. From now on, let my action speak to u more than my words. From now on, YOU will hear about me rather than me telling you”.

This incident made me “feel” what we, the HIV Survivors could feel. It made me feel that we failed to be understood by people not infected by the virus. They don’t understand that thou we do look healthy outside, we were battling many demons inside. My suicide took me closer to the psychological mind of the infected. It made me feel how they “feel”, how they are “affected” and how even a mere harsh words can shatter their heart or a toughest problem can drive them to utter despair. How they yearn for love, for being wanted, to be accepted. It made me want to be with them. That I will be there for them. That I will be their ear, that I will be their heart, that I will be their shoulder to cry on, that I will be their pillar of emotional support. That I will be everything they want me to be : A daughter, sister, friend, mother. Leaving the “wife” part which I can be for just one 🙂 :).

Thus the result of my action? On 21st April, I have a meeting with someone who will be my partner in opening up a foundation for HIV infected people. After my lunch meeting with him, we will be roping in media for publicity coverage to highligh the plight of HIV people in India and also looking up at some organisation who would sponsor/fund our project, who would bring some love, some cheer in their lives. A guy whom I am partnering with told me that I am playing a dangerous game, that I am risking my life and that it will be a gross violation of my human rights should I go public, show my face when India is still in the stage of inception, but I hardly care. I told him that I am doing it more for THEM than for MYSELF. And also, ( I told myself secretly ) I am doing it more to bring my lost respect and trust back in my best friend’s (Mr. B) eyes, my ex-bf whom I loved and still love. He planted that seed in my distraught mind and I am going to make it into a fragrant blooming flower capturing many hearts and winning million’s love just to light up the life of the infected population in India and make their day! My budding dream is already on its way to becoming a reality.

(I know now that suicide is not, and never will be, the answer. It was a big mistake. There are resources for people who were feeling down like me, and people who can help.)

 

 

Challenges…

There isn’t a single person in the world that hasn’t Had to struggle with something or overcome Difficulties at some point in life. We all face Challenges and adversity.

At this very moment you may be facing one, whether They’re related to money, health , children, family Or careers. It is all part of being alive.

Recognize that obstacles are just part of your Journey. Don’t let them stop you and never give up.

Instead, think of them as milestones that once Passed will bring you closer to your goals.

Remember that with every challenge passed, you are a Little stronger, a little wiser and more prepared for The rest of your journey.

 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Anand permalink
    April 21, 2012 12:53 am

    It is wrong to say that all those who attempt suicide are cowards. Humans are social creatures and if too many of their needs go unsatisfied for too long, they will lose interest in life and some might think of ending it. It’s not as if everyone who attempts suicide is doing it because of some specific pain they’ve been experiencing. Sometimes there just isn’t any reason, you just reach a point where you think it is pointless to go on. There are even those who were at the top of their game, who achieved everything they set out to achieve, and yet they wake up one fine day to find that they have nothing to live for.

    Yelling at a person who attempted suicide and calling them a coward…is not something I would do. Suicide is an easy and permanent solution to a temporary problem (the problem of needs going unmet), so it can be tempting for some; you have to make such people FEEL that the reward you get after holding on and fighting with yourself to create an urge to live is worth the fight to get it. It has to be done with love, not anger.

    Of course if the person thinks that they’ve been a coward and they feel ashamed, all on their own, if that serves as a deterrent to future attempts at suicide, and if they take steps to use their problem to help others with the same problem, like you have done, then it’s fine. I’m just saying it’s an unnecessarily harsh way to return to life – it would be easier and less stressful if done with kindness, love, affection, and understanding.

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      April 21, 2012 1:37 pm

      Awwww Krishnanand Ps, u fully understood me. U wrote beautifully. And the LAST two ending sentence was just perfect. PERFECT! Where nobody could understand me here, u did. Where I got reaction, u knew that the opposite could have served even the more better purpose. I guess u have learned a lot in life. A LOT!!

  2. rexith permalink
    April 21, 2012 3:45 am

    nice ……… unexplainable feelings of almost every poz persons is reduced to writing in an agrreable manner, plz read fictious novels, ( i dont hav any intention to hurt u /ur work/ feelings) right from first post u r transformed to a better writer ur expressions of feelings in words are nice. keep it up , i am expecting a writer who can create fiction novels atleast through which he can say to indian people what feelings is going through the minds of PLHIV.

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      April 21, 2012 1:29 pm

      Rexith : In my writings all the “words” come out in form of a “feeling” and thus what u read is the emotion of an author who penned down the blog. It is not fictitious but REAL LIFE INCIDENTS n this incident happened on 11th April 2012.
      And yes, I do understand what goes in the mind of PLWHA as am also walking in their shoe…rocking the same boat….so I can relate to it…..But I want them to open out instead of bottling up their emotions. I want them to speak, to share, to care, rather than live in silence and be a target/victim of stigma and discrimination. We need to be UNITED coz one cant do it alone. Yes, one can fight a lone battle, and that is with “self” but fighting with self in front of the society is NOT enough coz many people breaks u down and u need some support to hold on, to lean on…….And I had none who could understand me. I mean, none physically while virtually I have the whole world with me. But at times, physical presence DO matters.

  3. TLHOGI permalink
    April 23, 2012 11:22 am

    HI GAL U R SUCH AN INSPIRATION TO ME,I WISH 1 DAY I COULD HAVE THE SAME COURAGE AS U…I M SO SILENT ABOUT THIS MONSTER HIV I EVEN HIDE IT FROM EVERYONE AROUND ME THE FEAR COMES FROM THE WAY THEY TALK ABOUT IT WEN I AM AROUND PEOPLE WHO BAD MOUTH US NOT KNOWING THAT I AM ALSO ONE OF THOSE LIVING WITH THIS BLOODY THING,KEEP INSPIRING US WITH THE HOPE THAT ONE DAY I WILL ALSO HAVE THE SAME COURAGE MUCH LUV.

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      April 29, 2012 9:35 am

      Hi Tlhogi,

      You will have the courage one day, I am sure. The only thing you need to do is to let yourself go. Let urself be free. And above all, u need to be strong, mentally strong enough to face the stigma, discrimination and criticism, mentally strong enough to handle the emotions on your own, reply without hurting and yet putting up the brave smile on your face even thou you are deeply shattered inside. It needs all the guts. I understand ur situation there and I know how risky it is. It is not so easy but neither it is so difficult when u have a confidence in you, within you.
      I have been thru all. Hatred from people only made me stronger, pains from the fellow HIV infected made me push myself even the more for the sake of THEIR happiness. Yes, being shunned from the society and being ignored from near and dear ones makes me break down emotionally to the core but it wont defeat me from my fight. I will live to tell a tale. My every story has a meaning : LOVE for PLWHA

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